Is all life sacred?

“Captured combatants and civilians who find themselves under the authority of the adverse party are entitled to respect for their life, their dignity, their personal rights and their political, religious and other convictions. They must be protected against all acts of violence or reprisal. They are entitled to exchange news with their families and receive aid.” This sentence comes from a part of the Geneva Conventions which are under attack by the Bush Administration. I’ve done some reading and the original intent of the Geneva Conventions was to provide a minimum standard that attempts to provide for the dignity of the human being in time of war. It is somewhat akin to Catholic Social teaching. The belief in the dignity of the human person. Catholic Social teaching asserts that every person is precious and that life must be protected and supported from conception to natural death. It asserts that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

Enter the Bush Administration and its “War on Terror.” Paradoxically a man who once said that Jesus Christ was an influence on his life wants us to believe that not all life is sacred and that in special instances and circumstances certain humans may subject other humans to certain types of interrogation techniques which might yield information that the captor deems useful. There are some people like Colin Powell, John McCain and others who think this sort of thinking is blurring the lines between what separates us from the terrorists.

I agree with General Powell that we are crossing or have already crossed the line. We have killed just as many innocents as the terrorists. I think we’ve actually killed more people in Iraq and Afghanistan that were killed here on September 11,2001. It really doesn’t matter what I think. What can I do? I can only change myself and what will that change be? I don’t know what my response should be. Is there anyway that individuals can work for peace and the restoration of human dignity to all people. Food for thought. Peace.

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geneva convention, war on terror

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